About the Artistic Director

Artist /Designer/ Puppeteer

Joyce Hutter is an accomplished and talented artist who has been writing stories, and designing sets, décor, props, puppets and masks for theater and puppet theater since 1985. Along with her behind the scenes activities, Joyce’s work shines on stage as an actor and puppeteer.

Joyce is the founder and serves as the Artistic Director of Strings and Things Puppet Theatre, a non-traditional, socially responsible puppet theater group who brings innovative puppetry performances to children and adult audiences.

Between 1996 and 2001, Joyce enjoyed a partnership with the Cultural Affairs Department of Los Angeles (CAD); producing puppet performances for its Community Arts Program in San Pedro creating a variety of children’s shows include Rapunzel, The Incredible Adventures of Don Quixote, That Crazy Cat’s in Love, Starvin’ Marvin, and The Unusual Careers of Vladimir Von Bitten, and others.

After a short hiatus in which Joyce produced a daughter who is already showing signs of following in her mother’s footsteps, she began working as a member of the Rogue Artists Ensemble. As a puppet designer for a Los Angeles “designer based” theater company, Joyce has received a Distinguished Achievement Award from the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle for Puppet and Mask Design for the production of The Comical Tragedy OR Tragical Comedy of Mr. Punch, at the Bootleg Theater – 2008, Los Angeles.

Other notable work includes productions of “Strauss Meets Frankenstein” with the Long Beach Opera Company and Michael York -2008, The Victorian Hotel, Rogue Artists EnsemblePowerhouse Theater2006, Santa Monica, and Hyperbole, “Changes” – The Rude Guerilla – 2003, Santa Ana, and others.

Joyce is most proud of her design and fabrication of puppets and costumes based on the children’s book The Story of Frog Belly Rat Bone, written by Timothy Basil Ering (Candlewick Press), which is currently being toured as part of RAE’s educational program.

Other works of mention are toy theater designs for The Boy, the Crocodile and the Good Deed, (performed by You and Me Puppets in Nairobi, Kenya and NYC Toy Theater Festival 2008) and shadow puppet designs for the Raveonettes Black/White viral video: Gap Sound of Color. The Raveonettes – Black / White – YouTube

Joyce also enjoys a career as a graphic designer with expertise in the development of children’s toys and games. Her exceptional drawing ability, strong sense of design and rich imagination lead her to collaborate with an exciting group of creative companies where she communicated her ideas and concepts into imaginative toys.

“A poetic triumph for York and L.B. Opera.…Frankenstein!! …. is something very different indeed …using clever puppets, video projectors and a brief film to tell these funny, satiric stories. …And the Superman and Batman film was at once a wonderful superhero joke and a parody of serious puppetry. ”Long Beach Press-Telegram, March 17, 2008, by John Farrell

…Joyce Hutter’s puppet designs was terrific and apparently true to the comic art.  Overall, it felt as if the audience had entered into the graphic novel, not only as a voyeur, but as a participant.”Campus Circle, May 14, 2007, by Kerr Lordygan

…Joyce Hutter’s puppets are magnificently eerie creations.”Variety, April 29, 2007, by Terry Morgan.


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